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Guest Column: Three Bands You May Not Know But Should By Coldsteel's Troy Norr


Guest Column
We’ve reached out to our metal and hard rock brethren across the land, asking that they contribute prose to our recent series of guest columns. We ran a recent series on Five Albums That Will Change You, and the response was overwhelming.

The new topic is Three Bands You May Not Know About But Should, and we asked that each guest writer jot down a brief description of what makes each band worthy of our attention. Today, we continue this ongoing series with an entry from Coldsteel‘s Troy Norr.

Hello all and a big thanks to GunShy for publishing this column! Being busy with the release of Coldsteel’s first record in 20 years (America Idle), I have been given an opportunity to take a break and focus on some other music other than my own.

When I was asked to write about three bands that people might not normally hear about, I knew exactly which ones to write about! Coming from the underground myself, I am a firm believer of promoting your own. So with that, I give to you VooDoo Terror Tribe, Sanitarius and Maelstrom!

It was a typical weekend night in the mid 2000s. I was standing outside of T-Bones Boneyard Bar in Huntington, New York, waiting to perform with my cover/original band Anger Mgmt. On this particular night, we planned on performing heavier metal covers from bands such as old Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer. I was outside the bar awaiting my turn on stage and speaking to some close friends when all of a sudden I heard music that peaked my interest so I walked inside. At that very moment, I was introduced to VooDoo Terror Tribe! At this time, the late Harry Dullys fronted the band (RIP) and I was stunned like a deer in headlights.

To my ears, VTT was performing a brand of Metal that I haven’t heard in a long time. This sound was fresh, energetic, melodic, heavy and with emotion injected in for good measure. On top of their great sound, they were 100 percent original. I loved it all of it! Each band member was a pro all the way in look, sound and musicianship level. I normally am not a huge fan of single guitar metal bands but with VTT this did not matter! Emir held his own throughout the set effortlessly. I loved the band so much that night I purchased their demo. Their next record World of Lies was an immediate purchase and from then on I have been a fan ever since. It doesn’t matter to me that Voodoo Terror Tribe isn’t on a label I just love their music and style! Check out their latest EP Stands To Reason.

Next on my my list is the band Sanitarius, which hails from New York and formed back in 2010. I heard a lot of local buzz about this band even though they aren’t from Long Island. I attended a show at Ollies Point in Amityville (now known as Revolution) and I was surprised to learn that Sanitarius were on the bill. Great! I finally get to see these guys!

As they were setting up I noticed they were…kids! Each band member were in their early twenties with the oldest not older than 23. I am used to seeing musicians in their late twenties, 30’s, 40’s. Now I was intrigued. The very second this band began to perform I was immediately drawn to the stage. Each song was a speed injected train blasting right through you. After the first song I found myself screaming like a little kid at his first metal concert. Wait, there were people clapping half-heartedly? WTF? These guys were amazing.

They deserved the metal salute and praise! Screw it; I continued going nuts the first time in years for a local metal act. I later found out the guitarists had formal training by none other than Alex Sckolnick from Testament! After this show, I immediately purchased their demo and have been a fan ever since! Sanitarius’ style is technical but definitely keeps true to the speed metal/thrash metal vibe of the late eighties. Sanitarius, unsigned, deserves the right to play with the big boys right now!

Last on my list and certainly not least is a band called Maelstrom. Maelstrom hails from Long Island and was formed in the late eighties along with the likes of other Long Island locals Kronin and Coldsteel. Unlike the typical American thrash craze movement, Maelstrom was a band that exuded more of a European flair which set them apart from their local counterparts. Like with many bands, Maelstrom’s presence was short lived as the band disbanded in the 90’s to pursue families, careers and business ventures.

Fast forward twenty years and we find ourselves face to face with metal destiny…The reformation of Maelstrom. Gary Vosganian’s vocals have been compared to Milland Petrozza of the German band Kreator. There are subtle similarities but I believe Gary’s vocals are more unique melodically. As far as Guitar Virtuosos are concerned, Joe Lodespoto is on top of that list! In 2012, Maelstrom signed with Itchy Entertainment and will be releasing their 2008 EP It Was Predestined.

Maelstrom is pro in sound and concept. I just wish I could witness a live show offering. In the near future perhaps? Either way, I am a fan for life and will demand that I am the first to purchase their new EP once it is released! Long live Maelstrom!